[conspire] conspire Digest, Vol 54, Issue 20

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Nov 21 15:57:22 PST 2007

Just my opinion, Bruce:  Your quoting technique is so illegible that 
hardly anyone's going to plow through it to figure out what you're
saying.  (As an aid to any who're tempted, Bruce is currently using
"..." before and after his own new sections.  Stuff on the other side of
the elipsis -- if you can figure out which side is which -- is quoted
from some prior poster.

Quoting Bruce Coston (jane_ikari at yahoo.com):

> I firmly believe new users should multi boot and test many 
> distributions. 

My own view, by contrast, is that new users should eschew multibooting
if possible.  If they have time and interest, they should indeed test
many distributions -- one at a time.

Among the many reasons why multibooting seldom works well is that the
user is generally kidding him/herself into thinking he/she will spend
time in both/each operating system, but in fact ends up spending almost
all time in one to the exclusion of the others.  This is particularly
true of longtime users of a proprietary OS such as MS-Windows who
"shrink" that OS's filesystems and put a Linux distribution on the same
drive in a dual-boot configuration.  

They _say_ they're going to switch back and forth -- and I'm sure they
mean that when they say it.  However, then that doesn't really happen,
and it ends up basically being just a waste of time.  Thus, I assume
that most people who, e.g., visit CABAL and seek help setting up their
MS-Windows systems for (standard-type) dual boot (as opposed to VMware
and similar) simply aren't serious, and have come over basically to kick
the tires.  We still help them, but experience suggests that they're
just tourists.

> ...I got a chance to look at kde4 the other day (Open Suse KDE 4 live cd)
> and it has dolphin. Pretty nice, although I didn't spend a great daal
> of time exploring. Might bring it by on Cabal day....

As a reminder:  This Saturday following Thanksgiving Day, _no_ CABAL
meeting, as Deirdre and I will be at LosCon.

> DAVE, please do bring it and the other things I asked you to download
> when i pick you up won't be fast and I'll probably void my warranty
> :).... not for w98 because ms hadn't discovered the vm yet and
> couldn't liscense against it!...

I'm quoting the above mainly so there will be a fighting chance that
"Dave" might see it!

> he uses w98 actually..

The only difference with Win98 as opposed to XP is that instead of OS
Loader picking up the boot process from an NTFS partition's sector zero,
and eventually after some Rube Goldberg machinations loading the NT/XP
kernel, in Win98's case, IO.SYS (or whatever it's called) is in sector
zero of the pointed-to FAT32 (or FAT16 or FAT12) partition, which is
just smart enough to find MSDOS.SYS (or whatever it's called), which in
turn is just smart enough to find and load COMMAND.COM.  At this point,
you have MS-DOS 7.10 running, which is then the foundation from which
the Windows 4.10.1998[1] graphical shell (aka "Win98") finally launches
and provides Win32 services.

Incidentally, for John's benefit, the reason this process -- of loading a
very small stupid program that is just smart enough to find and load a
slightly larger and smarter one, and so on until you're running a full
OS -- is called "booting" is that that's borrowing the metaphor of
"pulling yourself up by your bootstraps", which got shortened to
"bootstrap loading" and then to "booting". 

[1] See "Windows Bestiary" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Legacy_Microsoft/

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